‘Is it a bird, is it a ‘plane, no it’s……Super Ace!’

Is a bird, is a plane, no it’s…Super Ace!

Here we have that rara avis of British aviation, one of only two examples of the Chrislea C.H.3 Super Ace Series 2  still flying in the UK. These aircraft were built immediately postwar, and despite sharing certain design characteristics (high-wing cabin monoplane, 145 hp DeH Gipsy Major 10 engine) with aircraft such as Austers, they proved to be a commercial failure. They were overweight and had strange control arrangements – a car-like steering wheel which customers disliked. The be-spatted Super Ace, G-AKUW, is parked at Keevil, Wiltshire, an early arrival at GVFWE; to the left, and partially obscured, is the WW2 Control Tower  of the former RAF Keevil. I have been lucky enough to fly in this rare bird!

An attempt was made to market a ‘utility’ version of the Super Ace, called the C.H.3 Series 4 Skyjeep, which had conventional controls, a tailwheel undercarriage and provision for carrying either a stretcher or small freight items under a detachable rear decking – despite this, and a more powerful 155hp Blackburn Cirrus Major engine, only three were ever flown. 

Chrislea C.H.3 Series 2 Super Ace

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